Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

Poppi Is Facing A Lawsuit Over Its Gut Health Claims — But What Does It Mean?

So, um, Poppi is getting sued. On Wednesday, May 29, a customer filed a lawsuit against the Gen Z-favorite brand, claiming the drinks are not as “gut healthy” as the brand markets them to be.  

TikTok is known for popularizing all kinds of products, and the prebiotic drink company Poppi is one of them. Poppi is a soda brand founded in Texas farmer’s markets by a husband-and-wife duo who wanted to “make pop history,” according to the brand’s website. With an investment from Shark Tank in 2018, tons of celebrity endorsements and investments, and a TikTok following that has grown rapidly, Poppi has made it big in the last few years. But internet fame is a fickle thing — and some may be wondering whether this lawsuit will bring Poppi down a few pegs.

Kristin Cobbs, the California woman who filed this class-action suit, claims she had consumed Poppi on multiple occasions because of the gut health benefits advertised on the beverage’s packaging. (Poppi is sold in very distinct and eye-catching cans, with the slogan “Be Gut Healthy, Be Gut Happy” on each drink.) According to the lawsuit, Cobbs researched what a prebiotic drink would actually require to have real gut-health benefits and found that Poppi’s amount of agave inulin — the prebiotic used in the soda — would have to be more than three times higher than its current count of two grams to actually confer gut health benefits, based on a study from Cornell University. The lawsuit is seeking “monetary relief” from Poppi for falsely marketing the product’s health benefits, per AP News. 

Her Campus reached out to Poppi’s reps for a statement about the lawsuit, but didn’t hear back in time for publication. However, Poppi addressed the suit in a response to USA Today. “We are proud of the Poppi brand and stand behind our products,” the statement said. “We are on a mission to revolutionize soda for the next generation of soda drinkers, and we have diligently innovated to provide a tasting experience that millions of people have come to enjoy. We believe the lawsuit is baseless, and we will vigorously defend against these allegations.” 

 

Is Poppi Safe To Drink? 

After seeing the news of this lawsuit, some might wonder whether Poppi is still safe to drink. But it’s important to note that this lawsuit does not call the safety of consuming Poppi into question, but rather criticizes how it’s marketed as more healthy than it may actually be. Poppi’s big selling point is that it is a healthier alternative to mainstream pop beverages, having 25 calories and five grams of sugar — compared to, for example, the 139 calories and 39 grams of sugar found in a standard 12 oz can of Coke.

In terms of its health benefits, Poppi contains apple cider vinegar, which boasts proteins and healthy bacteria and may improve skin and heart health. As mentioned before, it also contains agave inulin, which is believed to be good for gut health (though whether it has enough of this prebiotic dietary fiber to be effective remains to be seen). 

The bottom line is, drinking a Poppi is not as effective as simply eating fiber-rich foods, which contain more variety of healthy fibers and healthy bateria, according to Consumer Reports. However, if you’re just drinking Poppi because you like it — and not relying on it for health reasons — you should be fine, especially if you’d normally be drinking a traditional soda in its place.

What Does The Poppi Soda Lawsuit Mean For Fans?

Since the lawsuit was released, some folks on the internet have made their alliances clear. TikToker Annabelle Treadwell writes in a TikTok video, “Cheers to Poppi! Good luck in the lawsuit!,” while she’s pictured opening a can and drinking it. One of the top comments on the post says: “I don’t drink them because of any health benefits. They just taste good and are a better option than what I currently drink.” Another commenter summed up how many Poppi fans feel: “I be drinking my Poppi still 🫡”

Julia Dwyer

Toronto MU '25

Julia is an English major at TMU and has lived in Toronto her whole life. She is passionate about women and the things they create, book adaptations, and really good stories with flawed, loveable characters. When she's not procrastinating, studying, or buying expensive coffee on campus, you can find her rewatching Pride and Prejudice, reading everything that Emily Henry publishes, and wishing she could be eating apple pie.